Rains Heating and Cooling in Princeton files suit against Grundy County Nursing home District

A petition for damages has been filed against the Grundy County Nursing Home District in respect of bidding for a partial replacement of the HVAC system in the 1972 portion of Sunnyview Nursing Home and Apartments of Trenton. Rains Heating and Cooling in Princeton has filed the petition, which covers five points, including breach of contract, unjust enrichment, money received and received, conversion and conditional exclusion.

The petition states that the nursing home district advertised bids for the project, and the ad stated that the bids must be submitted by January 6, 2021. The deadline was later moved to January 22.

The project engineer, Fred Malicoat of Malicoat-Winslow Engineers, advised Raines to submit a bid package, which consisted of the HVAC and electrical work to be performed. The project would last 210 days.

The petition notes that Raines and other contractors involved in the tender were concerned about the number of days the project would take. Malicoat is said to have instructed bidders to mark the 210 days in the contract.

Raines made an offer on January 22 for $828,270.29. The bid included the electrical work to be performed and an addendum. Under the terms of the offer, in lieu of a bid guarantee, Raines provided a check for $41,413.60, payable to the nursing home district.

The petition says Malicoat told Raines on Jan. 28 to begin compiling store drawings, insurance certificates, and the performance and payment guarantees. Raines was also informed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would release a notice to proceed in the near future.

Raines requested the performance and payment guarantees from his guarantor. Raines received copies of the contract documents in accordance with the agreement on February 19. On February 24, a message was sent regarding the pre-construction meeting for the project.

An email from Malicoat reportedly sent Raines to obtain the issuance of the performance and payment guarantees for the project. The email indicated that a preliminary pre-construction meeting would be on February 25.

Deborah Berry of the USDA Rural Development Office reminded Raines on March 1 that USDA Rural Development had to show the performance and payment guarantee as an accomplice on the bonds.

Malicoat indicated on March 3 that the denunciation and award would be signed at the pre-construction meeting. The petition says this seemed odd to Raines and his agent, who acquired the bonds, as the nursing home district had yet to provide Raines with a written contract identifying and issuing the bonds.

On March 19, the board requested Raines to provide performance and payment guarantees by March 23. Raines allegedly submitted the bonds to the board before the deadline and was notified on March 30 that the pre-construction meeting would take place the following day. Berry sent an email on March 30 to postpone the meeting. Malicoat informed Raines on March 31 that the second low bidder, the Wilson Group, threatened to sue the nursing home district.

The board met on March 31 and decided to award the project to Wilson after previously awarding it to Raines.

In February, it was reported to KTTN that the Grundy County Nursing Home District Board had approved Raines Heating and Cooling’s bid for HVAC for $388,369. After the March 31 meeting, it was reported that the board of directors had withdrawn the grant notice to the company. Sunnyview administrator Jerry Doerhoff said Raines did not meet the bidding requirements at the time.

Counsel notified Raines on April 1 that the company was allegedly in default for failing to provide performance and payment guarantees within 15 days of the award notice. Raines denied that it was overdue in providing the bonds and that the representatives of the board of directors handling the offer extended the time for the bonds to be issued. On April 5, the company submitted a request to the district for payment of compensation. The demand included the district repaying the $41,413.60 Raines previously paid to the district in lieu of an offer. District counsel declined to return the money on April 19 unless and until Raines released the district.

The petition alleges that the Raines Nursing Home District has promised it had been awarded the contract for the project and has instructed the company to continue to obtain performance and payment guarantees. In acquiring the bonds and hiring additional staff, the company relied on the district’s promises. The district knew and expected Raines to act by acquiring the bonds and preparing to perform under the terms of the project, and it would be unfair if the promise was not kept.

The company claims it was damaged $275,498 as a result of the district’s actions. The company is seeking a judgment against the Grundy County Nursing Home District for that amount, for interest at the statutory rate, for expenses, and for such other and further relief as the court deems proper and proper. Raines is also demanding a jury trial.

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